To the average person, sports are all about entertainment. To the businessman, sports are all about money, but what is the meaning of sports for an athlete?
In the eyes of Veronica Crosby, a 6-foot volleyball player at Mercyhurst University, sports are all about “community,” knowing that her “team will always be there for” her.
Crosby was raised two hours away from Erie in Buffalo, N.Y. At a young age, her parents introduced her to the world of volleyball and inspired her to try out for her middle school team, which she did not make at first. Determined to climb the ladder to the top, she joined the Junior Leagues, which helped her gain experience and recognition.
A mixture of hard work, determination and talent enabled the young player to skip the beginning year of middle school volleyball, and becoming part of the junior volleyball team. The closer she got to becoming a professional player, the more she got involved in the sport.
“I kept playing junior varsity and club at the same time. This led me to make varsity and become a starter as a sophomore, a year earlier than the usual,” Crosby said.
Eager to obtain Crosby’s solid background in volleyball, Mercyhurst competed against Clarion University in persuading the young player into joining the team.
Fortunately for the ’Hurst, Crosby preferred the Lakers.
With new doors open, she gained a more mature perspective of volleyball. Now, it meant an opportunity to attend college. However, playing for a Div. II school presented major challenges for her.
“You have to be fast, and as a team this past season, we would let the other teams come back and win,” Crosby said.
To compensate for last season, the team will practice every day during the season for two to three hours and off-season three times a week for two hours. In addition, the team has seen improvement when it comes to lifting.
“This winter term, we have been lifting more than previous years, so our team is getting stronger,” Crosby said.
With tremendous talents lurking in the team, next season seems to be promising. They will look to use a disappointing 2011-12 season as motivation for the future.
In essence, for Crosby, volleyball has become a way of finding balance in life.
“It makes me be a well-rounded person, not just a book worm. And the more I learn about it, the more I fall in love,” Crosby said.
Most of the time the average person does not realize the complex process that a team, or an individual player, must go through in order to achieve a certain goal. For most of us, the final product of all the blood and sweat of the athletes is entertainment, for the businessman it’s revenues, but for the athletes themselves it is glory.
In order to truly appreciate the beauty of a sport, one must value the efforts and the sacrifices that athletes must endure and the way they translate all of that into the field to be successful.
Crosby and the volleyball team hope their sacrifices pay dividends next season.